[Adopted 11-20-2002 by Ord. No. 3659]
The standards and procedures set forth herein are established to promote and protect the public health, safety and welfare within Lower Merion Township by providing common and effective methods for assigning and changing street names. Such methods ensure the efficient delivery of emergency services to individual homes and businesses and the appropriate determination of the continued use of lands dedicated for public purpose.
As land in Lower Merion Township changed from farms and fields to homes and businesses over several hundred years, streets names were derived from early settlers and landowners names, geographical descriptions, and Welsh and English nomenclature. It is the intent of this article to preserve these street names since they reflect the historical development and cultural heritage of the community and the local environment. It is the further intent to maintain this approach to the naming of new streets as such occurs within the Township.
All streets shall be named in accordance with the provisions of this article. All private streets, roads and access easements, except for private driveways, providing the principal means of ingress/egress to residential, commercial, manufacturing, industrial or other properties or buildings shall be named.
No application for subdivision, land development or other plan permit and no application for the change of name of a street shall be approved that contains a street name that does not comply with the requirements and procedures provided herein.
The assignment or change of all public or private street names shall be recommended by the Department of Building and Planning and the Planning Commission and approved by the Board of Commissioners. Street names that have been approved by the Board of Commissioners are considered official street names and are to be included in the Lower Merion Township plan of streets and alleys.
The Department of Building and Planning shall be responsible for coordination with fire, police, emergency services, public works, utility providers and others for the assignment or change of street names. This coordination shall occur during the street name approval processes defined herein. The Department of Building and Planning shall also be responsible for notification of all appropriate agencies of approved street names and changes.
Initiation of process. The approval process for new street names shall be initiated concurrent with the subdivision and land development process and shall be submitted as required in § 135-17 for preliminary subdivision plan, § 135-18, lot line change plan and § 135-19 for preliminary land development plan. A street name review fee is not required for street name assignments that are part of an application for subdivision, lot line change or land development plan review. All other requests shall be charged the appropriate application fee as defined in Chapter 167A.
Any proposed new street name should be unique in Lower Merion Township, be pleasant sounding, appropriate to the location and easy to read. Personal names are discouraged unless the name has an historical connection with the property being developed or subdivided, or to the Township, or is that of a well known local identity or prominent resident, past or present. Names of 12 or fewer characters are encouraged to maximize visibility of street signs. The following restrictions shall apply:
To eliminate potential confusion and delay of emergency response, no street name shall be approved that duplicates or can be confused with the name of an existing street. Any proposed street names or street name changes shall be compared with the street names listed in the Township Plan of Streets to determine if the proposed name would create a duplicate name or be considered confusing.
Streets with the same name but different street type designation shall not be permitted (e.g., Avon Road and Avon Street are duplicates).
To eliminate confusion resulting from diction problems in reporting emergency situations, names that are similar or have difficult spelling, are obscure or phonetically challenging shall not be approved.
Numerical names (1st Street, etc.), alphabet letters (A, C, etc.), complicated names or names with unconventional spelling (use Abbey rather than Abbye), frivolous names or names considered to be in poor taste will not be accepted.
Names that include words or syllables that might be confused with prefix or suffix designation (such as Circle Drive) will not be accepted.
Names shall not contain hyphens, apostrophes or other nonletter characters.
New street names shall not contain more than two words, exclusive of direction or street type.
Directional indicators, such as north and west, shall not be included in street name proposals as a prefix or suffix to a street name. When streets cross the east/west or north/south baseline, the appropriate directional indicator may be assigned by the Department of Building and Planning as part of the approval process.
Suffix designations. Appropriate street name suffixes may include, but are not limited to the following:
For a highway or major arterial street: highway, road, boulevard, avenue, parkway.
For a primary or secondary road or street: road, drive, lane, way, avenue, street.
For a tertiary or minor street or cul-de-sac: way, court, place, circle, terrace.
For a shopping center ingress/egress: square, center, plaza.
Authorization and procedure. Street names may be changed only in accordance with this section. Unless there is a public purpose to be served, as determined by the Board of Commissioners, changes to existing street names are not encouraged.
Initiation of procedure. The Board of Commissioners or property owners of record who represent all parcels that have access to the public right-of-way and abut the street to be renamed may make application to initiate a change to a street name.
Application requirements. The following information items are required for acceptance of a formal application to the Lower Merion Township Department of Building and Planning to change the name of any street.
The formal application shall contain the following items:
The existing street name.
The proposed street name.
Justification of public purpose for request.
Signature of the applicant or authorized representative.
Signed, notarized consent and mailing address of each adjoining property owner or an affidavit authorizing an agent to act on behalf of said adjoining property owner.
Additional information as required by the Department of Building and Planning.
Five copies of a plan using a scale of a minimum of 50 feet to the inch and showing the entire street, including names and addresses of all adjacent property owners along the street as reflected by information and maps maintained by Lower Merion Township. Vacant lots shall be designated as such in the plan. A location/vicinity map showing the distance of the street proposed for renaming to the nearest arterial and driveway and access points onto the road shall be shown on the drawing.
Fee to record the final documents with the Department of Building and Planning, police, fire, public works and Township Secretary.
Review and action. Complete applications for a street name change shall be reviewed and action taken in accordance with the following procedures:
The Department of Building and Planning shall determine the technical accuracy of the request and establish the date for review of the application by the Township Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners.
The Land Development Committee and the Township Engineer shall review the request and submit its report to the Planning Division and to the applicant.
The date set for review by the Planning Commission shall be given to the applicant after consultation with the Director of Building and Planning.
After its review, the Planning Commission shall convey its recommendation regarding the application to the Board of Commissioners.
A public hearing date before the Board of Commissioners shall be established not later than 90 days following the date of the regular meeting of the Planning Commission next following the date on which the application is deemed accepted for filing.
A notice of the proposal to change the street and the date of the public hearing shall be sent to all adjacent property owners and to all governmental units having jurisdiction, including police, fire, post office, Montgomery County and others as applicable.
Notice of the public hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in Lower Merion Township.
Following the public hearing, he Board of Commissioners shall either reject the application, or approve it by the adoption of a resolution changing the name of the street on the plan of streets and alleys of the Township.